Ex­pat New Zealan­ders han­ker­ing for the sweet taste of home

Weekend Herald - - News - Thomas By­wa­ter

Ki­wis on OE can put up with a lot, but if there’s one thing New Zealan­ders abroad can’t live with­out, it’s Whit­taker’s Jelly Tip choco­late.

The choco­late bar from the Welling­ton-based con­fec­tion­ers is the num­ber one item im­ported by Ki­wis liv­ing over seas.

Un­usual cli­mates, cul­tures and baf­fling di­alects can be that lit­tle bit eas­ier to stom­ach with the chance to in­dulge your sweet tooth with some lol­lies from home.

Some of the most pop­u­lar Kiwi ex­ports have been re­vealed by Kiwi Cor­ner Dairy, an on­line re­tailer for New Zealand prod­ucts.

The most re­quested item of food on the site is the pop­u­lar Whit­taker’s Jelly Tip choco­late block, fol­lowed closely by Pascall’s Pineap­ple Lumps, Cad­bury’s Perky Nana bars and choco­late-cov­ered hokey pokey.

It seems New Zealan­ders are will­ing to pay hand­somely to have a fa­mil­iar taste of home shipped half way across the globe.

Started by Jim Fisher and his wife Liz in Pukekohe 18 years ago, the vir­tual dairy was an early adopter of e-com­merce.

“I was muck­ing about one night in about 2000 on dial up [in­ter­net]. I came across this web­site called build your own shop, I did and bug­ger me we got an or­der our first day,” Fisher told the Week­end Her­ald.

While the ex­pe­ri­ence of no two Ki­wis over­seas is the same, it’s what they can’t live with­out while abroad that’s the most telling.

The top coun­tries for or­ders fol­low the over­seas des­ti­na­tions as you’d ex­pect — by den­sity of ex­pats: Aus­tralia is the top im­porter by a long shot, fol­lowed by the USA, Canada and the UK. How­ever, within the past week the com­pany’s had or­ders from Hong Kong, Mex­ico, the Nether­lands and Switzer­land to name but a few.

Per­haps the most un­usual des­ti­na­tion they reg­u­larly serve is an or­der from a res­i­dent of McMurdo Sta­tion, in Antarc­tica.

“I sup­pose that’s her sum­mer treat, she has a cou­ple of parcels mailed down to her­self. It’s gen­er­ally choco­late and lol­lies but hey, they de­serve it!”

Care pack­ages of choco­late and con­fec­tionery are by far the most pop­u­lar, par­tic­u­larly in the run up to Christ­mas.

How­ever, sweet treats are not the only things Ki­wis miss from home. Sun­shine clothes pegs are one big seller — ap­par­ently the ones abroad just don’t do the trick. — and it seems dogs around the world are also par­tial to our prod­ucts.

“We have a lady in Amer­ica who has a reg­u­lar or­der for New Zealand dog treats,” Fisher said. It’s not known if the treats are for a Kiwi dog liv­ing abroad.

At this time of the year, Ernest Adams Christ­mas cakes, Griffins sam­pler boxes and more tra­di­tional fare leads the ta­bles, due to fam­i­lies send­ing Christ­mas treats abroad.

New Zealan­ders also or­der “a lot of kids’ things,” says Fisher — and the clas­sic wooden Buzzy Bee is a par­tic­u­lar favourite.

“A while back they had a spe­cial edi­tion with the All Blacks, we must have sent hun­dreds of those things around the world.”

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